WASHINGTON (April 24, 2014) – The proposed regulations on e-cigarettes by the Food and Drug Administration released today will not require that existing products be removed from the marketplace while they are being reviewed and before they are approved. Additionally, the regulations will ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Both of these developments represent positive steps forward on the ongoing education to the public about vaping said the R Street Institute today.

Keeping products in the marketplace in particular is important, as evidence has shown that e-cigarettes have proven to be far more effective in helping smokers to stop smoking tobacco products than any other cessation product, such as nicotine gum, patches or lozenges.

However, it is concerning that the regulations call for restrictions that would prevent e-cigarette makers from advertising that smokers can reduce their risk of tobacco-attributable diseases by switching. Available evidence suggests such risks may be reduced by as much as 98 percent.

“It is important for people to know that e-cigarettes are an effective tool in tobacco harm reduction,” said Professor Brad Rodu, endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research at the University of Louisville and R Street associate fellow. “While we are in favor of e-cigarette regulation by the FDA, it should not come at the cost of educating the public about less harmful alternatives to tobacco cigarettes.”

Rodu also counseled the FDA to give more guidance on what health warnings will be required on e-cigarette packaging.

“There is ample medical evidence that shows that nicotine is addictive and should not be used by pregnant women, making those warnings appropriate. However, there is insufficient medical evidence of other negative health consequences of e-cigarettes. The FDA should set clear standards on the warnings that would be required under the regulations.”

R Street will express these concerns during the current public comment period.

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